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Infertility Treatment Options That Are Low Cost

Infertility doesn’t automatically mean that your only option is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Several low-cost treatment options are available out there for you that are not as expensive and invasive as IVF. Many people accept the fact that IVF is the only way to have a baby, but that is not true.

What are the tests to undergo before considering treatment?

Before treatment, your doctor may advise you to undergo tests for hormonal balance, ovarian function, and general health. For women, early detection and intervention of increased prolactin levels and thyroid disease can bring back the reproductive system to normal.

Treating metabolic problems, such as insulin resistance, also will improve reproductive health. Moreover, men must undergo a semen analysis to address sperm production problems.

The beginning phase of a female’s fertility evaluation involves the fallopian tubes and the uterus. Uterine fibroids affect most women and therefore influence their ability to conceive.

Also, uterine polyps commonly affect women in search of fertility care. Whether it be polyps or fibroids, both block the uterus and interfere with implantation. Therefore, pulling them out will restore a woman’s fertility.

Bear in mind that your treatment will depend on the underlying condition that is causing infertility.

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When Is the Right Time to End Fertility Treatments?

You may have undergone many cycles of different treatments, but you have not conceived and brought a new-born home. So, you ask yourself the question: “Is it time to give up?”. How will you know when the right time is to end fertility treatments?

If you are feeling overwhelmed with the situation, it is advisable to take a deep breath and give yourself a rest from treatments. You need to recover and rest from injections and daily visits with your doctor and take a step back and release yourself temporarily from fighting against infertility.

You may think of not going back because you believe treatments have drained and failed you. In most cases, people decide to put a stop to the treatments. When you see crossroads right before you, assess the impact of the whole treatment process. You can do this by asking the following questions.

  • Do you still have enough resources (finances, social support, physical and emotional energy, and time)?
  • Do you agree with the upcoming medical treatment option?
  • Are you confused about your feelings towards treatment, and do you think you need to talk to someone who can guide you to your next step?

Be honest with yourself and respect your financial, emotional, and physical resources.

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Deciding About Your Surviving Embryos

There are several options that IVF patients can consider when deciding about their surviving embryos:

  • Storage. You can reserve your surviving embryos at a cryopreservation center or IVF clinic with a fee. This option will give you a chance to make future arrangements for the growth of your family. Just make sure that you clearly understand every detail of a storage agreement because some clinics only allow embryos to stay for a specific period.
  • Benevolent transfer. A benevolent transfer means that the medical team you work with will transfer your surviving embryos when the chances are low for you to conceive. Note that some clinics do this for free, but some still do. A patient who is going to undergo a benevolent transfer should seek support from a psychologist.
  • Disposal. If you and your partner have decided to stop medical interventions, then you can request the IVF clinic to discard the embryos. You will need to agree with many consent forms and documents to dispose of your embryos, and you won’t have to pay storage fees anymore.

Always plan before you make a choice and seek advice from a mental health specialist to help you weigh your options. Consider this as part of the process and journey to finding resolution.

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The Male Body

Knowing the male reproductive system helps you understand the parts that may be affecting one’s fertility. Here are some parts of that will help you know how the reproductive system works.

Scrotum

  • Holds the testes, which is the organ that produces the sperm.
  • Maintains the temperature of the sperm to ensure healthy production.
  • Located behind the penis.

Epididymis

  • Coiled tube lying behind and beside the testes.
  • Helps the sperm to mature.
  • Moves sperm to the ductus deferens.

Vas Deferens

  • A long thick tube that runs from the epididymis to the back of the bladder.

Seminal Vesicles

  • Produces sugar fructose and seminal fluid, which guides the sperm to their journey to the female reproductive system.

Prostate Gland

  • Has enzymes that have the power to liquefy semen after ejaculation.

Cowper’s Glands

  • Located at the bottom of the shaft of the penis.
  • Produces a lubricant before ejaculation happens.

Penis

  • Allows a male to unload his seminal fluid to a woman’s vagina.

Testes

  • Oval glands found inside the scrotum.
  • Factory of sperm cells.
  • Produces testosterone.

Sertoli Cells

  • Nourishes the sperm by producing growth factors.

Leydig Cells

  • Responsible for producing testosterone.

Seminiferous Tubules

  • Seminiferous tubules are responsible for storing the sperm for at least three months.
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The Female Body

Understanding how the body functions is particularly important since it has the ability to let you know when something is not right. Fertility is a key function to the body. Hence, understanding fertility in the female body will give you insight to what is happening when you try to conceive naturally.

Understanding Ovulation

A baby girl has about one to two million eggs in her ovaries which are called primary oocytes. At puberty, the number of eggs in her ovaries will decline to about 500,000. When the eggs fully develop, thin granulosa cells surround them. These cells are inside a follicle, which protects and nourishes the egg for at least 50 years, halting it from aging or maturing.

Follicles start to grow. If growth is not prime, the eggs die due to a lack of nourishment. When that happens, the follicles undergo atresia, where the ovary absorbs the follicle cells back. Atresia is a continual process until a woman experiences menopause.

When an egg becomes mature and when the dominant follicle releases it, the processes below begin:

  • Luteinizing hormone production
  • After a few hours, cell division or meiosis happens where the egg (the primary oocyte) will now have 23 chromosomes.
  • Then, the follicle surrounding the egg will secrete mucus to form a barrier (cumulus). Beneath the cumulus is a membrane called zona pellucida. The sperm must traverse through the barrier to fertilize the egg.
  • Once fertilization occurs, the egg usually stays in the fallopian tube for about 12 to 24 hours right after ovulation.
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What Are the External Factors That Can Affect My Fertility?

Aside from internal factors, there are also external factors that can affect an individual’s fertility. They include:

Alcohol

Extreme consumption of alcohol is linked to reduced fertility. However, there is no proof that shows the exact amount of alcohol that can impact one’s reproductive function. According to one literature, at least four bottles per week can decrease the rate of success of IVF in females.

On the other hand, too much alcohol intake in men causes a decrease in sperm motility and count. Even some studies confirm that moderate drinking can have a negative effect on sperm.

Caffeine

Too much caffeine may impact or delay the time for a person to conceive. Also, consumption of about 200 to 300 mg of caffeine per day may lower one’s chance of getting pregnant and increase the rate of having a miscarriage. For males, there is little evidence that shows that caffeine effects their fertility.

Cell Phones

Animal studies test the influence of RF-EMR, coming from mobile devices, on the reproductive system. Unfortunately, they have identified a negative effect on the ovaries and uterus. Also, sperm exposed to radiation get weaker and change in shape.

Lifestyle factors do affect fertility. So, always take things in moderation.

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Medical Conditions Causing Infertility

Unknown to many people, infertility is a disease that is caused by several medical conditions. There are underlying medical conditions that can also influence your ability to conceive. Below are the possible medical conditions that affect your reproductive ability:

Endometriosis

More than 150 million women around the world have endometriosis. It is an abnormality where tissue can be seen all over the pelvis, impacting the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. These adhesions or scar tissue can hinder fertilization and even implantation.

Moreover, abnormal tissues surrounding the fallopian tubes places a woman under a higher risk of extrauterine pregnancy. Extrauterine pregnancy, which is commonly known as ectopic pregnancy, happens when a fertilized egg doesn’t settle itself in the uterus but gets trapped in the fallopian tube instead.

Male Factor

About 30% of cases of infertility are linked to issues with the male factor. Several men who are facing infertility do have emotional struggles. Some may suffer from emasculating feelings which can affect a couples’ ability to reproduce. The female partner needs to understand that her partner may be suffering from emotional pain.

Therefore, whatever the underlying condition may be, whether it be the male or female factor, partners must communicate and seek medical advice. If you sense that you have any of these medical conditions, consider getting advice from a urologist or a reproductive specialist.

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Understanding Infertility

What are the facts relating to infertility? Well, if you are hesitant to see a reproductive endocrinologist for tests, having a general idea about the diagnostic process may help.

According to ICMART, infertility is a person’s inability to reproduce after a year of regular and unprotected sex. Several factors affect the fertility of a man and a woman, and one must consider seeking help from medical professionals.

Who is Affected by Infertility?

Infertility can affect both women and men, but women are more affected than men according to statistics. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, one-third of infertility is attributed to women while one-third is attributed to men. Approximately, one-third is attributed to a combination of both partners. The following factors may cause infertility in females:

  • Age (fertility declines after the age of 35)
  • Irregular menstrual cycle or no period at all
  • STD or Sexually Transmitted Disease (e.g., Chlamydia)
  • Polyps or fibroids in the uterus
  • Blockages in the fallopian tubes
  • Endometriosis which causes excessive tissue to surround an individual’s reproductive organs
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Menopause before the age of 40

The following factors may cause infertility in males:

  • Weak sperm
  • Sperm deficiency
  • History of having STD
  • Hormonal imbalances

If you think these factors are affecting you or your partner from getting pregnant, then seek medical advice from a doctor. Getting help will increase your chances of reproduction.